Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?…You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye…”
Matthew 7: 3-5 (NIV)

I have been emailing these “early morning thoughts” each Monday morning since March 17, 2003. It began by sending them one Monday to a few friends. More friends over time have requested to receive them—so now they are sent each Monday to over 2,000 people with forwarding beyond that.

By the way, they are also available—along with archived past “thoughts” on the Impact for Living website (www.impactforliving.com ).

But there was one Monday, June 19, 2006, I intentionally didn’t email them out, and instead sent them out the next day—Tuesday, June 20, 2006.

The reason—to point out that while I was talking, in my “thoughts,” about the speck in some of our eyes, and getting our priorities wrong too many days, spending time with the unimportant over the important—I realized that I was about to be, again, the worst offender—and was the one with the log in my eye.

Lynda, and our granddaughters, Hannah and Ellie, who had spent the weekend with us, had just left for Tampa without me. I was supposed to go with them, but at the last minute decided I had too many important things to do, including getting the “early morning thoughts” done to email out the next day. Biblical thoughts, thoughts meant to help us do what we were supposed to do, the important things that God calls us to, and of which He reminds us.

As I began to write the “thoughts” later that evening, the emptiness grew inside me as I looked at a framed photograph of Hannah and Ellie they had just given me for Father’s Day. Lynda and our granddaughters were on the way to Tampa to be with the mom and dad, our son and daughter-in-law, to have the family all together, and there I sat—not going with them so I could write about what was important in life.

The log was now fully lodged in my eye.

Webster’s New World Dictionary, College Edition, defines “hypocrite” as “a person who pretends to be what he is not; one who pretends to be better than he really is, or pious, virtuous, etc., without really being so.” It was like salt being poured in an open wounds of my mistake and other mistakes in my past, and there I sat doing it again.

So I slowly began to remove the log of hypocrisy from my eyes.

My family deserved better than an absent husband, dad and granddaddy, with a log in his eye, doing less important things, than just simply being with them.

And so well before dawn the next morning, I loaded our two Basset Hounds, Luke and Lily, in the car and headed for my family in Tampa. The “early morning thoughts” would have to wait to be sent out until tomorrow.

Lynda’s surprised look as she greeted me at the door, and my sleepy granddaughters’ “Hi Gran!” complete with hugs, were all God’s grace erasing the memory of my mistake in not coming down with them the day before, just like God’s grace is there for all my mistakes—past, present and future.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you will be there in the future. Remember that God’s grace, as well as all the smiles, love and excited utterances of those who need you, are sufficient to help you get the log out of your eye and be the person He created you to be.

Lesson learned.

Tomorrow I will live that lesson out, again, learned from the God who never gives up on us—even me—and is always helping us to wedge the log out from our eyes to see the important things in life.

Each Tuesday morning for the past six and one-half years I have shared a ten minute telephone call-in devotional with folks from all across the country. Never missed, not one time. But for tomorrow I will step out of the call, because my bride, Lynda, will be having surgery for breast cancer—a surprise diagnosis from a little more than a week ago. That’s where I will be Tuesday, not scrubbed up in the operating room, but there waiting with God for my bride, on the day after our 52nd wedding anniversary.

I wish I could say I have always gotten things right, maybe you do, too. But, with His help, we can begin to get it right today and hereafter. Priorities, as God leads us.

And stepping up to help, by stepping in to share and lead the Tuesday devotional call-in tomorrow, will be an eight-time New York Times best-selling author, and co-founder of Impact for Living, and most importantly, our son, Nathan. Thanks.

Priorities, my friends.

Let’s follow His direction, and together help each other—to get our priorities right.

In His Name–Scott